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[mang-guh l]
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verb (used with object), man·gled, man·gling.
  1. to injure severely, disfigure, or mutilate by cutting, slashing, or crushing: The coat sleeve was mangled in the gears of the machine.
  2. to spoil; ruin; mar badly: to mangle a text by careless typesetting.

Origin of mangle1

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French mangler, perhaps dissimilated variant of Old French mangonner to mangle; akin to mangonel
Related formsman·gler, noun


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1. See maim. 2. deface; destroy.


[mang-guh l]
  1. a machine for smoothing or pressing clothes, household linen, etc., by means of heated rollers.
verb (used with object), man·gled, man·gling.
  1. to smooth or press with a mangle.
  2. Metalworking. to squeeze (metal plates) between rollers.

Origin of mangle2

1765–75; < Dutch mangelLate Latin manganum. See mangonel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mangle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We do not speak of such expressions as, Has your mother sold her mangle?

  • Must they mangle the corpse when they have extinguished life?

    Nuts and Nutcrackers

    Charles James Lever

  • Hannah might expend her energy in flat-ironing, and Josiah could turn the mangle.

    Novel Notes

    Jerome K. Jerome

  • How should I fret to mangle every line, In reverence to the sins of thirty-nine!

    Essay on Man

    Alexander Pope

  • Gretchen stepped lightly over her mangle and dropped a curtsey.

British Dictionary definitions for mangle


verb (tr)
  1. to mutilate, disfigure, or destroy by cutting, crushing, or tearing
  2. to ruin, spoil, or mar
Derived Formsmangler, nounmangled, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Norman French mangler, probably from Old French mahaignier to maim


  1. Also called: wringer a machine for pressing or drying wet textiles, clothes, etc, consisting of two heavy rollers between which the cloth is passed
verb (tr)
  1. to press or dry in a mangle

Word Origin

C18: from Dutch mangel, ultimately from Late Latin manganum. See mangonel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mangle


"to mutilate," c.1400, from Anglo-French mangler, frequentative of Old French mangoner "cut to pieces," of uncertain origin, perhaps connected with Old French mahaignier "to maim, mutilate, wound" (see maim). Meaning "to mispronounce (words), garble" is from 1530s. Related: Mangled; mangling.


clothes-pressing machine, 1774, from Dutch mangel, apparently short for mangelstok, from stem of mangelen to mangle, from Middle Dutch mange, ultimately from root of mangonel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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